Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. – Ezra 1:7
King Cyrus had just heard from God. God instructed him to build a temple. Not a temple for Cyrus, but for God. Cryrus sends out word to all the people asking for donations to the temple. He then heads for the loot Nebuchadnezzar had earlier stolen from Jerusalem. It had originally been meant for God. Nebuchadnezzar had stolen it and placed it in the temple of another god. It was time to redeem the stolen goods.
This comes at an interesting time. The teachings in exchange of late have been on money and giving. Pretty stretching stuff. There has been this idea that our money can redeem things. We can use money for good. We can redeem things for ourselves or for the kingdom. Cyrus was redeeming what was God’s but had been stolen. Isn’t it the same with us? Scripture says that we rob God with tithes and offerings – they belong to him. Tithes and offerings. They have been stolen. They have the power to redeem.
Steph and I sat in a coffee shop last week and discussed money, giving, the future, and things of the like. As I looked out the window at my rusty 1994 Explorer with 160K miles, I made a comment that our tithe amount would give me a pretty nice car payment every month. She just looked at me. We have been married long enough to read each other. “I know,” I said,”It is not our money.” I hate it when she preaches my sermons back to me.
Tithing is returning.
I wonder what my tithing and giving has redeemed. I may never know. I would guess that it is a better investment of God’s money than me stealing it for a newer car.
May the money trusted to me never be carried away by my hands. I will return it to you that you can redeem all that you desire.
[tags]money, life journaling, Ezra, church, God, giving, spirituality[/tags]